Gazprom Continues Gas Supply to Donbass

Gazprom Continues Gas Supply to DonbassGazprom Continues Gas Supply to Donbass

Russia’s major gas producer and exporter Gazprom will continue to supply gas to Donbass in the framework of the agreement with Ukraine’s oil and gas giant Naftogaz, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on the eve of bilateral talks in Vienna, Austria.

"It’s true, we continue supplies to Donbass and we’re doing this under the agreement with Naftogaz Ukrainy," he was quoted by TASS as saying. Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak had said in June that Russia would continue gas supply to Donbass.

"The supplies that began in February will continue," he said at the time. "They’re included in the overall volume of the contract. These amounts have always been supplied to Ukraine."

However, Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, said on Thursday the risks of disruption of gas delivery to the Donbas region in winter remain quite high.

"Due to the de-facto blockade of the territory by official Kiev, that has been going on since June, the window of opportunity to prepare the region for the winter season is closing," she said.

"The risks of disruption of gas supplies in the Donbass remain very high and there is no guarantee that the Ukrainian government will pay for gas deliveries in this part of the country."

Zakharova also said that according to the UN World Food Program, the food security situation in the conflict zone has significantly degraded and will continue to deteriorate due to a general increase in food prices and the reduction of opportunities for earnings in the coming months.

She stressed that Russia "continues to consistently provide direct humanitarian assistance to the needy population in the southeast of Ukraine".